FT5ZM, Amsterdam Island DXpedition 2014


FT5ZM, Amsterdam Island DXpedition 2014

Welcome! It’s our pleasure to announce a major ham radio expedition to one of the more remote places on Earth, Amsterdam Island in the southern Indian Ocean. This “DXpedition” is made possible by the generous financial support of the amateur radio community and the world-wide audience following our progress and by the cooperation and support of the French government.
Whether you are an amateur radio operator hoping to contact a new country or a casual visitor, we welcome you to our website. We invite you to follow our progress in planning our trip to Amsterdam Island and the voyage itself. After we land on Amsterdam Island, we hope to share our adventures with you in as near “real time” as possible. The content of our website will be constantly updated, so check back frequently.
Amsterdam Island is unique in its history, ecology, and strategic location. We’ll be discussing all those things right here. So, share our plans, our dreams, and our setbacks. Feel our adrenalin rush as we leave the pier in Fremantle, Australia in January. Experience the wind in our faces as we sail and share our excitement as we step ashore on Amsterdam Island and begin handing out radio contacts.
Follow our news and planned ventures via our website, Facebook Fanpage and RSS and Twitter feed.
Welcome! Ralph Fedor – KØIR

The Island

Amsterdam Island was discovered in 1522 by the Spanish explorer Juan Sebastian Elcano. The Dutch captain, Anthonie va Diemen named the island in 1633 and a Dutchman, Willem de Vlaming was the first to land on the island in 1696.
From the late 1700’s onward an interesting history of the island unfolds with stories of people marooned on the island, shipwrecks, political changes, and even attempts at farming which led to the existence of a herd of feral cattle which still occupies the island today.
We’ll talk more about all these things over the coming months. Stay tuned.
After reviewing the team’s credentials and planning documents, TAAF issued a permit to land and conduct a DXpedition from Amsterdam Island for up to 18 days between the dates of January 15 and February 20 of 2014. Landing, set-up, and take down are included in those 18 days.
The Braveheart, a well-known and experienced DXpedition vessel, will board the team in Fremantle, Australia in early January of 2014. It will be a 3800 nautical mile round trip in the rough “roaring 40s” of the southern hemisphere. The total time at sea will likely be 16 to 18 days in the 128-foot Braveheart.
Amsterdam Island is under the administration of TAAF, the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises, which controls access to the islands in the French Antarctic Territories.
Access is strictly controlled and permission to land on the island is subject to the use of an environmentally acceptable vessel, the ability to land in difficult sea conditions, self-sufficiency, and a sound environmental plan.
The Budget
The budget for this project is just over $400,000. Transportation makes up the majority of those costs, followed by per diem, anchorage, and usage fees imposed by TAAF.
The trip requires a large financial commitment from each team member. The minimum team member contribution is $10,000. Travel to and from Fremantle, Australia will cost each team member another $2,000 to $3,000. In addition there are six weeks away from home and family, a very long boat ride, and the physical and financial risks inherent to a DXpedition of this magnitude. The team was heartened by an extremely generous grant from INDEXA. Within hours of receiving the group’s request for funds, INDEXA offered their support. Then the NCDXF followed-up with one of the largest grants they’ve awarded. The completion of this project will depend upon the support of clubs and foundations world-wide, but even more on the support of individual DX’ers. Ralph Fedor, KØIR, states:
“We simply cannot do this without help from the DX community. We need to raise about a quarter of a million dollars. And, it has to be international financial support – we need our DX friends from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania to help us on this one. We have down-payments to make and equipment to purchase before setting sail, so we need the help right away.”